Round up for "Story Telling with Food" event - my post #100

I am at crossroads today. Can you see that number over there? :) When I started this blog, I really didn't know whether I would continue with this, how much time I would dedicate for this, whether I would post on a regular basis - so many questions... Even when I have reached post #100, I still have questions in my head - will I continue with the same interest?

Alhamdulillah... Till now, I have been very lucky, or should I say, blessed? There are so many people I would like to thank at this juncture - if I start, it would sound like an Oscar speech. :) Without even typing anything, I know that some people will understand who I mean to be really thankful to. Their continued support and encouraging words have been the backbone of this blog and all I've done so far. Then all you people out there - let me shout out a big THANK YOU! Without all of your valued comments, encouragement and feedback, all this would not have been possible. I guess I am going short of words - that is how much I am feeling now... :)

My first event that I had ever done was the "Story Telling with Food", which I had initially kept for 20 days and then extended it for further 10 days - from April 10 to May 10.

The response I got was really encouraging, you can find all the entries here and here. I had received a total of      14 entries, plus one entry from a non-blogger, who was a junior of mine in school. Below I am appending what she had sent to me:

Hi Rafee itha'

                  How r u? Hope your family members are fine.My name is Faheema Abdulkader. I stay in Dubai with my 2 yr old son and hubby.when I read ur blog "The Big Sweet Tooth", you are exactly like me. I enjoyed reading your blog each and every detail. I really become fan of your blog.

Like most of the ladies, I got interested in cooking after marriage.Before marriage,I never bother about cooking food.I just ate whatever mom cooks.Now, I realize the value of mom after marriage.When I am cooking for first time,it went worse....Thank God, I am lucky that I am blessed with hubby who have tons of patience.He didn't scold me about the flop food...instead,he makes fun of my cooking....He knew that I will definitely become a good cook by trying trying until succeed.Now my hubby likes most of the food I cooked. I found myself cooking varieties of dishes.I entered the world of baking few months ago.My first baking turned successful.Now, I used to bake 1 or 2 times in a month.

My mom is my guru at cooking...she makes varieties of curry with different flavour...when I tried to copy her,I didn't get the taste near to mom...nothing can beat mom's cooking...she used to make varieties of cookies,cakes,bun and pizza when we were in school tastes so she don't bake more,reason is that she don't have much time. My mom taught me the basic of making cookies and cake.Now I make varieties of them,by getting recipes from facebook cooking page,youtube and google search.

Today's recipe is a baked item. Its a cake. I got it from google search,but makes slight change according to my taste.Its healthy cake made with wholewheat flour,dates and jaggery without egg. You can eat more without feeling guilty of tastes yummy and texture of the cake is moist without adding egg. Here is the recipe for the cake:



Wheat Flour - 2 cup ( You can add all purpose flour,or mix 1 cup of maida and 1 cup of wheat flour)

Baking powder - 1 tsp

Baking soda - 1/2 tsp

Dates - 15 or 20 no.s

Unsalted Butter  - 1 cup 

Jaggery or brown sugar - 3/4 cup

fat free condensed milk - 1 tin + 1/2 cup milk

chopped walnuts/cashews/almonds - 1/2cup

salt - a pinch

chopped dates - 1/2 cup for garnishing


 * Boil the condensed milk along with milk for medium flame.Stir in between.Be careful,don't keep at high flame,otherwise it    will get burnt.When it comes to boil, off the flame.

* Soak the dates in the condensed milk for 15 to 20 mins. After that,pour it in the blender and make dates puree.

* If using jaggery, boil it in the pan along with 1/3 cup water till it melts completely.Then strain it with the strainer in order to      remove impurities.Keep it aside to cool.

* Take a bowl,mix together wheat flour,baking powder and baking soda.

* In another clean bowl,take electric beater and beat the butter until creamy.Add jaggery syrup and beat again at medium speed.    Then add 1/3 cup pureed dates  milk and 1/3 cup wheat flour mix and beat again at LOW SPEED.Again add remaining dates      puree and flour and beat again.Continue this step 3 times.The cake batter should be smooth without any lumps.  If the batter    becomes thick,add 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk and beat again at low speed.( Always use LOW SPEED while incorporating with   flour as the cake turns hard ) 

* Finally, add chopped nuts and chopped dates and mix gently with the spatula.( Don't mix the cake batter so hard,as the cake    becomes hard after baking)

*Preheat the oven at 180 degree C. Pour the cake batter into the greased cake pan and bake for 35-40 mins until toothpick    insert in the centre comes out clean.

*Enjoy this cake with a cup of tea. :)

I had also mentioned that I would be having a give away for this event, which is totally from my side, ie. not sponsored in any way. It was one give away that I had planned but when I read through the posts, seriously I got confused. Who should I give it to? There were particularly two posts that really touched me and I really had a tough time to choose between the two. Then I thought to myself - why not I give two giveaways? One entry that I loved was an international entry and the other was from where I am staying. So there you go, after a lot of contemplation, I decided to go ahead and do two giveaways!!! :) This way, I will be at peace that  I have given it to two entries that I loved. 

So are you ready to know, which entries had touched my heart? Read on to find...

The entry that really touched my heart was the Baked Kerala Style Salmon by Meena from Elephants and the Coconut Trees... Now here's why - 

During the initial days when I was carrying Rasha and at the same time, I was studying for my final year MBA. I used to come home exhausted to be smelling fish curry. And how much I used to hate the smell of fish curry at that time? My poor HD would be so expectantly waiting to make me eat it but in the whole feeling of nausea, I used to just get irritated and go off to sleep without even touching a portion of it. The next day in the afternoon, I would find the curry packed in my lunch box for office and I would wonder - "Wow! This tastes awesome, why did I make a fuss last night?" It's almost seven years now and I miss his cooking - seriously! Once we started staying with our parents, he has totally stopped cooking. I guess it's time for me to start poking him to cook for me... :) So Meena, please email me so that I can discuss with you how I intend to give your prize... :)

The second entry who gets the consolation prize, that I never had intended for, but was forced to because I really loved what I read and that goes to the Drumstick Sambar by Lathaji from Forks and Folks...Now here's why - 

I've had such disasters myself in the kitchen during my early days of marriage. I never learned cooking from my umma, thanks to a tight schedule of work and study. All I used to do was wake up, dress up, go to office, come back, have tea, go to college, come back and sleep. My cooking kindergarten was of course by the hands of my HD, who was patient enough to wait till I learned and got it right. There has been instances of burnt pans due to high flame for tea, rice that turned into "kanji" (overcooked and smashed) and so on and so forth of many many mishaps that I cannot even share over here. At least  it used to be just within the two of us, but then Lathaji had this experience with her father-in-law who was supposedly a good cook, so I cannot fathom the level of embarrassment this must have caused!!! So Lathaji, please email me so that I can let you know how to proceed...

For both of you, my email address is Hope to receive your emails soon...

And for all of you out there, hope your support will always come forward and please be rest assured - I will make it a point to visit all your spaces as well... There's quite a lot to come on BST, so stay tuned... :)

Update: Want to know what Meena got for the giveaway??? You can find it here... :)

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